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Waste Not, Want Not: Cut Back on Wasteful Habits

April 15, 2013 | Apartment Lifestyle, Green Living

Wasteful habits–we all have them, and we all wish we didn’t. Whether your primary concern is the environment, your pocketbook or just your own conscience, there are lots of ways to keep your waste in check. The best news? By renting an apartment, you’re probably already wasting less than the average American homeowner. (Try overconsuming in that 600 sqft. urban pad–we dare you!) Here are some tips to help you waste not, want not.

Reduce Water Waste

Americans waste. A lot. Of water. Seriously. Here’s how to change bad habits regarding water waste. First of all, turn the water off when it doesn’t need to be running. Whether that means de-thawing your tilapia in a bowl of lukewarm water (rather than letting water run over it for five minutes), turning the water off while you brush your teeth or simply setting a time limit on your showers, saving water is actually really easy. Did you know that women who shave their legs in the shower waste about 50 billion liters of water collectively each year? While your conditioner is sitting, turn off the water while you shave your legs. Then turn it back on to rinse.

Reduce Trash Waste

Ah, convenience. The Western World is known for our love of convenience, yet we rarely take the time to reflect on the disadvantages of disposable products. Want to eat in a way that’s good for both you and the planet? Stop buying frozen dinners from Whole Foods.

Keurig cups are another perfect example of a little convenience that can go horribly awry. These convenient (and non-recyclable) little instant coffee cups are collecting in landfills across the nation. The solution? Pick up a reusable K-cup. This tiny cup allows you the convenience of practically ready-made coffee without the environmental repercussions of a disposable plastic cup. Plus, you can use regular coffee grounds in this handy cup, so you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.

Reduce Food Waste

Americans waste about $165 billion worth of food each year. Considering the global hunger problem that persists today, this is heavy stuff. Let’s stop acting quite so entitled, shall we? In addition to the obvious solution (only buying what you’ll actually eat), you can use food more efficiently with this handy tip: If you find that you won’t be able to use your produce before it goes bad, collect it in a ziplock bag in your freezer. At the end of each month, you’ll have all the ingredients for a homemade vegetable stew!

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